Being in love is a feeling that ebbs and flows. One moment you’re swept away, caught up in that fantastic heart buoyancy only love is capable of making you feel (yes, even after ten years). Oh it’s magical, it’s glorious and then next minute… It becomes work. And when it’s work, it’s hard work, a literal labour of love to clear the soil and debris and find the person you were hopelessly infatuated with only a minute ago. Where did they go? Oh, here they are, under the long hours of work and pile of dirty laundry. How did you get down there, you silly sausage?
Almost two years ago now, I found a video on Tedx that talks about the different ways people feel in love. This video inspired me to write a post about when you’re most in love and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. You see, after watching the video, I realised that I was most in love when my partner is present, when I can see them and feel their confidence and watch them being in their element. When I showed the video to Jared, his reaction was very different. He’s more in love when we’re separated and/or reunited after being apart. Which works well for him at the moment but terribly for me.
You see, he has a few bars he’s opening and it’s taking up most of his time and making him quite stressed. We always knew this would be a trying time but I don’t think we realised how trying. About a month ago, Jared turned to me in the car and said, “The next three months are going to be hard for us. I’m going to be really busy with work and I need you to understand this. You’ll get whatever free time I have but I wanted to make you aware of this so you don’t get upset.” Or something to that effect. And he wasn’t lying, he is so, so busy and, even though I see him at home, he’s often working on the computer ’til bedtime. He may well be in his element but I mostly see the stressed side.
The problem for me is that when we spend the week barely talking, touching or interacting in any kind of real or meaningful way, I start to feel quite disconnected and this disconnection isn’t something I can turn off and on at whim. It takes me a while to essentially warm back up to him. Sadly, for him, this feels like I don’t love him or am trying to make him feel guilty for working so much. Which is definitely not my intention. Of course I still love him and I know he loves me but I also know how much his work means to him and how important it is that these bars come together well. I just don’t have it in me to jump immediately into his arms when he has a few minutes to spare (sorry, this is an exaggeration but you get the picture). It’s just not how I’m built.
So, we had a talk about this today. A real-life adult talk about how we feel and how we’re making each other feel and how we should approach each other in future. For example, Jared feels as lonely as I do during this period and, when I don’t respond favourably when he tries to kiss me, he feels like I don’t love him any more or am punishing him for neglecting me. On the other hand, when I’m feeling ‘disconnected’, a kiss feels quite demanding or intrusive. I’d prefer he hold my hand or hug me (to begin with) as this often feels more intimate and caring. Weird I know but this is how I feel.
I think we were both quite surprised at how mature and reasonable today’s conversation was. Not that we’re huge shouters or anything but, still, nobody got angry or defensive and we were both able to express how we feel and tell each other what we need in order for us to feel better about the current state of our relationship. Anyone watching would’ve sworn we’re grown ups! Wonders will never cease.